It's been a rough week for Alexander Gustafsson.
In fact, it's been "the worst week of his life," according to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight contender after suffering a fight-cancelling cut over his left eye during training.
The cut -- which company president Dana White says was was barely visible (judge for yourself here) -- happened just seven days before "The Mauler" was scheduled to face former Strikeforce 205-pound champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9, which goes down this weekend (April 6, 2013) in Stockholm, Sweden.
According to Gustafsson, he would have gladly gone to battle against "The Dream Catcher" with a broken hand if he had to, but the Swedish MMA Federation had the final call and eventually pulled the plug.
Speaking to FUEL TV, Gustafsson broke down the training mishap that caused the damage, detailing the roller coaster of emotions he has endured that have amounted to an historic lifetime low for the local mixed martial arts (MMA) standout.
"Yeah, I was doing some wrestling exercise and I was pummeling and we are changing angles all the time. I lost my balance and fell on the pole the keeps the fence up and I banged my head. I felt right away that it was cut. After that, I went to the doctor to get stitched and that was it. My mind was 100 percent on fighting until the day I found out that I couldn't. I took the stitches away a few days ago and it's healing up good, it's healing up good. I would have stepped into that cage and fought with a broken hand if I could. It's been up and down. It's been a circus, it has been the worst week in my life, and it's been terrible. I'm here in my hometown with my home fans and an opponent like Gegard Mousasi, that was a fight I really wanted. But, it is what it is, it's not in my hands anymore and I have to see the positive in everything now."
"The Mauler" was replaced by his training partner, Ilir Latifi, and while most of the MMA community expects a blowout win for Mousasi, Gustafsson has all the confidence in "The Sledgehammer" to shock everyone in Sweden, sharing the sentiments of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
As you can clearly see in the video above, "The Mauler's" cut has closed nicely over the last few days since having his stitches removed. Perhaps White's huffing and puffing and slamming of the SMMAF for its decision to pull Gustafsson from his headlining duties was indeed warranted.
However, potential bad decisions, huffing and puffing don't explain the reason(s) behind a poorly-built, top-heavy fight card.